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Update: Point Fire, July 26

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Date: July 26, 2011
Contact: Shannan Marcak, 928-638-7958

Grand Canyon, Ariz. – A warm and dry weekend has led to moderate growth on the Point Fire as it continues to achieve objectives on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. Over the last few days, flame lengths have ranged from one to three feet with occasional torching of snags and dense groups of trees. The Point Fire is currently estimated at 975 acres in size.

Today, monsoon rains returned to Northern Arizona, decreasing fire activity and slowing the growth of the Point Fire. A chance of showers lingers in the forecast through the end of the week. Fire managers expect a return to smoldering and creeping fire behavior as long as the cool, moist weather continues, and a gradual increase to more moderate fire behavior if the predicted showers do not materialize.

The lightning-caused Point Fire continues to burn in ponderosa pine and occasional small patches of mixed conifer. It is being managed to achieve multiple objectives, including resource and protection objections.

 Fire Facts:

Start Date: July 4, 2011

Location: Approximately 10 miles west of the North Rim developed area in the vicinity of Walla Valley and Point Sublime. The North Rim sits at approximately 8,000 feet in elevation.

Size: approximately 975 acres

Management Objectives: The Point Fire is being managed to achieve multiple objectives.

  • Resource objectives for the fire include maintaining fire in a fire-adapted ecosystem, reducing hazardous accumulations of forest fuels and recycling of forest nutrients.
  • Protection objectives for the fire include protection of sensitive cultural resources and critical wildlife habitat areas.

Closures: In order to assure firefighter and visitor safety, the Point Sublime Road (also known as the w4 road) has been closed until further notice from its junction with the w1 road, out to and including Point Sublime.

Smoke impacts: Smoke from the Point Fire is expected to be visible from US Highway 64 as far south as Valle, South Rim viewpoints, the Rim Trail, US Highway 67, the North Rim entrance station and some North Rim viewpoints. Coordination with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality is ongoing.

You can follow the progress of the Point Fire as well as view maps and pictures of the fire on InciWeb at http://inciweb.org/incident/2408/. For more on Grand Canyon’s Fire Management program, please visit us on the web at http://www.nps.gov/grca/parkmgmt/firemanagement.htm.

 -NPS-

Did You Know?

UNKAR DELTA IN GRAND CANYON

In Grand Canyon,one of the broad, sandy areas on the north bank of the Colorado River is Unkar Delta, composed of rock debris carried from the North Rim by Unkar Creek. Prehistoric Pueblo people occupied numerous sites on Unkar Delta and along Unkar Creek for about 350 years (A.D. 850 to A.D. 1200)